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Death and stuff

December 13, 2005 Leave a comment Go to comments

So apparently some gang member was executed and some other guy got the death penalty for protecting himself against (apparently) unannounced police officers.

The second case seems quite obviously a travesty, but I’m a bit more ambivalent about the first one. I’m anti-death penalty for the simple reason that killing someone is irrevocable and our justice system isn’t even close to perfect. We can release people from prison, we can’t resurrect them (unless you believe WND). Morally, I don’t know. I haven’t seen any reasoned arguments (of course, I haven’t made an effort to look) either way. At times it seems to me that state-sponsored killing is a bit barbaric. At others, taking a life seems to invalidate any claim to deserving life yourself. Still, I don’t really care. Actually, every time I think that I immediately decide that life and death is something I have to care about.

So then, did “Tookie” deserve to die? I don’t know. I can’t help but find the movement to save him a bit odd. I guess you need high visibility protests to gain support for your cause, but I can’t see why Williams deserves to live more than anyone else on death row. That’s probably a good indication that I’d be a terrible leader of any sort of political organization.

Another thing I find absolutely bizarre about the death penalty is that it seems to cost more than sending someone to prison for life. It looks like several states have studying the issue and come to that conclusion. Of course, you can someone taking the opposite side of just about anything, so we have this site accusing death penalty opponents of being frauds and liars on that issue. It’s awfully counter-intuitive that executing someone would cost more, but the explanations do make sense. I was thinking it was simply inefficiency in the system, but it looks like the safeguards we’ve built in are the main cause. Obviously we don’t want to rid ourselves of those.

Is this post going anywhere? Nope. I finished studying (in the sense that I mentioned a couple posts ago) and I needed to write something.

Categories: Domestic Policy
  1. December 14, 2005 at 7:36 am

    Though it could just be me, I think that most emotionally healthy people are wise to keep a certain ambivalence as regards matters of life and death.

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